Francis Ouimet

Francis Ouimet

Francis Ouimet
— Golfer —
Ouimet in 1913
Personal information
Full name Francis DeSales Ouimet
Born (1893-05-08)May 8, 1893
Brookline, Massachusetts
Died September 2, 1967(1967-09-02) (aged 74)
Newton, Massachusetts
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality  United States
Spouse Stella Sullivan (m. 1918–65)
Children Janice, Barbara
Career
Status Amateur
Professional wins 3
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 3)
Masters Tournament WD: 1941
U.S. Open Won: 1913
The Open Championship T56: 1914
PGA Championship DNP
U.S. Amateur Won: 1914, 1931
British Amateur T3: 1923
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1974 (member page)
Bob Jones Award 1955
Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. Open
Playoff participants Harry Vardon, Ouimet, and Ted Ray
Ouimet celebrating his victory with Eddie Lowery, his 10-year-old caddie with a white towel over his shoulders

Francis DeSales Ouimet (May 8, 1893 – September 2, 1967) was an American amateur golfer who is frequently referred to as the "father of amateur golf" in the United States. He won the U.S. Open in 1913 and was the first non-Briton elected Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.[1][2]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Golf career 2
    • 1913 U.S. Open 2.1
    • Controversy resolved 2.2
    • Later achievements 2.3
  • Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund 3
  • Depictions 4
  • Personal 5
  • Tournament wins (26) 6
  • Major championships (3) 7
    • Professional wins (1) 7.1
    • Amateur wins (2) 7.2
    • Results timeline 7.3
  • U.S. national team appearances 8
  • See also 9
  • Further reading 10
  • References 11
    • Footnotes 11.1
    • General references 11.2
  • External links 12

Early life

Ouimet was born to Mary Ellen Burke and Arthur Ouimet in

  • Francis Ouimet Biography from the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund
  • World Golf Hall of Fame profile
  • 1913 U.S. Open by Bernard Darwin
  • Electronic Resources From SoHG Archives
  • Hagen Swing Sequences - Brassie, Iron and Putt From SoHG Master Classes
  • Francis Ouimet at Find a Grave

External links

  • Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database
  • Source for 1914 British Open: www.theopen.com
  • Source for 1914 British Amateur: Golf Illustrated, July, 1914, pgs. 22-34.
  • Source for 1921 British Amateur: The American Golfer, June 4, 1921, pg. 24.
  • Source for 1923 British Amateur: The American Golfer, July, 1923, pgs. 48 & 50.
  • Source for 1926 British Amateur: The American Golfer, July, 1926, pg. 58.
  • Source for 1930 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 30, 1930, pg. 13.
  • Source for 1934 British Amateur: The American Golfer, July, 1934, pg. 16.
  • Source for 1938 British Amateur: TIME Magazine, June 6, 1938
  • Source for 1941 Masters: www.masters.com
  • Source for 1947 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 30, 1947, pg. 5.
  • Source for 1949 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 25, 1949, pg. 2.
  • Source for 1950 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 25, 1950, pg. 9.

General references

  1. ^ a b c d Kelley, Brent. "Francis Ouimet bio". About.com. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ Duca, Rob. "America's triumph: Remembering a legend".  
  3. ^ a b Brookline Amateur Wins U.S. Open
  4. ^ Frost, Mark The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf (Hyperion, 2002)
  5. ^ Francis D. Ouimet profile at www.hickoksports.com
  6. ^ "Ouimet Ties Great English Golfers. Twenty-Year-Old Schoolboy's Wonderful Performance in National Open Golf".  
  7. ^ "Ouimet's Aged Mother Is Happy, But His Health Is First Thought. New Golf Champion's 70-Year-Old Parent Hopeful That Her Son Did Not Tax His Strength--Tells How He Swang at Stones With Home-Made Clubs at 4".  
  8. ^ The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf, by Mark Frost, 2003; Gettin' to the Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf, chapter on Sarazen, by Al Barkow, 1986
  9. ^ "Marblehead's Lynch tabbed for prestigious award". North Shore Golf Blog. April 10, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Scott catalog # 2377.
  11. ^ http://www.heritageportal.co.za/article/story-behind-greensides-road-names
  12. ^ "Francis Ouimet Marries".  
  13. ^ "Francis Ouimet, Golfer, Is Dead; First Amateur to Win U.S. Open; Gardener's Son Who Won in 1913 Showed Sport Wasn't Only for the Affluent".  

Footnotes

References

  • Gibson, Nevin H. The Encyclopedia of Golf (A.S. Barnes & Company, 1958)
  • Frost, Mark The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf (Hyperion, 2002)

Further reading

See also

  • Walker Cup: 1922 (winners), 1923 (winners), 1924 (winners), 1926 (winners), 1928 (winners), 1930 (winners), 1932 (winners, playing captain), 1934 (winners, playing captain), 1936 (winners, non-playing captain), 1938 (non-playing captain), 1947 (winners, non-playing captain), 1949 (winners, non-playing captain)

Amateur

U.S. national team appearances

LA = Low amateur
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Tournament 1950
Masters Tournament DNP
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship DNP
U.S. Amateur DNP
The Amateur Championship R128
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament DNP WD DNP NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Amateur DNQ DNP NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Amateur Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP R32 DNP R128
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Amateur R32 1 SF DNP R256 R256 R64 WD DNP DNQ
The Amateur Championship R32 DNP DNP DNP R256 DNP DNP DNP R64 DNP
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP T29 DNP T3 DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Amateur 2 R16 R16 SF SF DNQ SF SF R32 SF
The Amateur Championship DNP R128 DNP SF DNP DNP R64 DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP 1 LA T5 T35 DNP NT NT T18
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T56 NT NT NT NT NT
U.S. Amateur DNQ DNQ DNQ R16 1 R16 DNP NT NT QF
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP R128 NT NT NT NT NT

As an amateur, Ouimet could not play in the PGA Championship.

Results timeline

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1914 U.S. Amateur 6 & 5 Jerome Travers
1931 U.S. Amateur 6 & 5 Jack Westland

Amateur wins (2)

1 Defeated Vardon and Ray in an 18-hole playoff - Ouimet 72 (−1), Vardon 77 (+4), Ray 78 (+5)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
1913 U.S. Open Tied for lead +12 (77-74-74-79=304) Playoff 1 Harry Vardon, Ted Ray

Professional wins (1)

Major championships (3)

Professional and amateur majors shown in bold.

Tournament wins (26)

Ouimet died in Newton, Massachusetts, on September 2, 1967, at age 74.[13]

He married Stella M. Sullivan on September 11, 1918.[12] They had two daughters: Janice Salvi and Barbara McLean.

Ouimet aspired to become a businessman to elevate himself into the middle class. The life of a professional golfer at that time did not offer an avenue to reach that goal. Within ten years of his U.S. Open victory, Ouimet had started to work as a banker and eventually a stock broker, which had always been his intention. He culminated his business career as a customer's financial advisor at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Personal

Oddly enough, a street is named after Ouimet in Greenside, Johannesburg, South Africa, close to the Parkview Golf Course. A number of adjacent streets are also named after golfers,[11] although the street in Johannesburg is named Quimet Street. How the misspelling occurred is not known. The street is still sometimes pronounced (correctly) without the Q, while it is also sometimes pronounced in the French way (Wee-May).

Appearing on the cover of The Greatest Game is a photograph of Ouimet at the U.S. Open with his ten-year-old caddy, Eddie Lowery. This iconic image is one of the best known in American golf and was used as the logo for the United States Golf Association's Centennial celebrations. A statue of Ouimet and Lowery based on the photograph stands in Brookline, Massachusett,s and at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida.

In 2002, Mark Frost wrote a biographical account of Ouimet's U.S. Open victory titled The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf. Shortly afterward, Frost was tapped by Walt Disney Studios to write a motion picture adaptation. The Greatest Game Ever Played was released in theaters in 2005. The film starred Shia LaBeouf as Ouimet and was directed by Bill Paxton and produced by Larry Brezner.

In 1988 a portrait of Ouimet appeared on a commemorative 25-cent United States Postal Service postage stamp in his honor.[10]

Depictions

The Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf was first presented in 1997 and is presented annually at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund's banquet. Past winners include Arnold Palmer (1997), Peter Jacobsen (2006), Jack Nicklaus (2007,) and Annika Sörenstam (2010).[9]

The Ouimet Fund is the second largest caddie scholarship in the U.S. and the largest independent scholarship fund in Massachusetts. Students must go through a rigorous application and interview process before being selected as a Ouimet Scholar. Once selected, students may attend any school they wish, which is one of the major differences between the Ouimet Fund and the Evans Fund, the other major caddie fund in the U.S. Since the Ouimet Fund is a need-based scholarship, awards can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $30,000 or more over four years.

In 1949, a group of Ouimet's friends started a scholarship in his honor, naming it the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund.[1] The scholarship was created to give college scholarship aid to young people who worked as caddies at clubs in Massachusetts. The inaugural class had 13 scholars who received a total of $4,600. Since then more than 5,100 students have been selected as Ouimet Scholars, receiving more than $26 million in need-based college tuition assistance. Today's requirements state that young people who have given at least two years of service to golf as caddies or worked in a pro shop or in course superintendent operations in Massachusetts are eligible to receive the Scholarship.

Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

Two other aspects of Ouimet's golf career are important — he used the overlapping grip to hold the club and was among the first top players to use this method. He very likely used the grip to emulate Vardon, who often is credited with developing the grip. Many great golf champions since have used this technique. The method is named for the "overlapping' of the little finger of the bottom hand between the forefinger and middle finger of the top hand. Ouimet mentored and encouraged the young Gene Sarazen, who developed into one of golf's greatest champions and also used the overlapping grip.[8]

Ouimet won the U.S. Amateur twice (1914 and 1931).[7] He played on the first eight Walker Cup Teams and was Captain of the next four for a team record of 11-1. In 1951, he became the first non-Briton elected Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and in 1955 was the first-ever winner of the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the USGA, in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Ouimet has been named to many golf halls of fame and has a room named after him in the USGA Museum.

Later achievements

Ouimet won his second U.S. Amateur in 1931.[1] During the 1920s, he lost several close matches to Bobby Jones, who dominated amateur golf for that decade.

Ouimet never turned professional;[1] he wished to remain an amateur for his whole career, as he decided before his U.S. Open success that he wanted to work in the world of business. In 1916, however, the USGA, in one of the most controversial decisions in their history, stripped Ouimet of his amateur status. Its reasoning was that he was using his celebrity to aid his own sporting goods business and was therefore making a living from golf. This was at the time when caddies were not allowed to continue caddying after they reached the age of 16, unless they declared themselves professionals. The decision was greeted with uproar from Ouimet's fellow golfers. In 1918, Ouimet enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant. After the war, the USGA quietly reinstated his amateur status. Ouimet did not bear a grudge against the USGA and served on several committees. He was also a golf member of Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre, and was a member of the Woodland Golf Club of Auburndale.

Controversy resolved

In 1963, WGBH-TV, Boston's public television station, aired an interview with Ouimet at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, to mark the 50th anniversary of his win at the 1913 U.S. Open. The kinescope of that interview was included in the DVD of the Walt Disney film The Greatest Game Ever Played.

Ouimet's U.S. Open success is credited for bringing golf into the American sporting mainstream. Before his win over Vardon and Ray, golf was dominated by British players. In America, the sport was restricted to players with access to private facilities. There were very few public courses (the first, Van Cortlandt Golf Course in The Bronx borough of New York City, opened in 1895). Ten years after his 1913 victory, the number of American players had tripled and many new courses had been built, including numerous public ones.

It was Ouimet's first appearance in the championship. After 72 holes of regulation play ended in a three-way tie, Ouimet, Vardon, and Ray engaged in an 18-hole playoff the next day in rainy conditions. Ouimet won the playoff at one-under-par for the day, beating Vardon by 5 strokes and Ray by 6.[6] His victory was widely hailed as a stunning upset over the strongly favored British, who were regarded as the top two golfers in the world. He was the first amateur to win the U.S. Open, the biggest crowds ever seen in American golf followed the playoff, and his achievement was front-page news across the country.

In 1913, Ouimet won his first significant title at age 20, the Massachusetts Amateur, an event he won five more times. He participated in the U.S. Amateur at the Garden City Golf Club in New York in early September, losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, Jerome Travers. Soon after, he was asked personally by the president of the United States Golf Association, Robert Watson, if he would play in the national professional championship, the 1913 U.S. Open, which had been postponed to mid-September from its original June dates to allow for the participation of British golfers Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, both of Jersey.[5] Vardon had won the U.S. Open in 1900 and The Open Championship five times to that point; Ray had won the Open Championship in 1912. The 1913 event was played at the course Ouimet knew best, The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Ouimet originally declined to play, having just returned from an absence from work to play in the National Amateur. His participation in the Open was soon arranged, however, with the cooperation of his employer.

1913 U.S. Open

Golf career

[4][3]